Can a Country Really be Called a First World Country if it Still has Third World Problems?

Almost everyone has seen the video roaming Facebook about the chemical attack in Syria. I had never given other countries problems or issues much thought until I saw the kids laying on the ground either in pure shock or simply dead.  I don’t watch a lot of political videos or things like that but this video really caught my attention which is exactly why it was posted in the first place.   I sat there, in my cozy little one bedroom apartment on the couch in front of our 50 inch 4k tv with my boyfriend, watching children and innocent people dying on the other side of the world. It just didn’t seem right. I myself was almost in shock from seeing the violence on my little iphone screen, and there were children and moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas living a life of constant fear and chaos not even knowing if they’re going to make it to the next day. That night actually ended up changing my perspective on my entire life. I started noticing just how LUCKY me and so many other people really are. I take SO much for granted every day, along with the majority of everyone else.   I’ve always been grateful for my small one bedroom apartment I share with my boyfriend, but many days I come home and wish I could just afford to get a new entertainment center or a new couch or a new coffee table. Sometimes I think how great it would be to just have a little extra space. But then, I started thinking, it’s so wonderful to even be able to live on my own and never be worried if I’m going to have my next meal. My boyfriend and I have never struggled with the bills or buying groceries. Struggling to us would mean not being able to afford to go to the next big concert we want to see. And that right there says so much. We don’t really...struggle… at all.   I started seeing things on Facebook and hearing people talk about how they’re taking away the free lunch program in schools. It made me sick to hear that. I saw one of the kids I was in high school with make a status about how him and his siblings lived off of the free lunch program and how hard it was in the summer time not getting that free lunch. That was really shocking to read because, where I grew up, you didn’t ever really notice anyone struggling. I mean of course there were always some kids who didn’t come to school in new clothes on the first day but for the most part everyone I knew was a middle class suburban family.   My boyfriend and I, like everyone else, hope to some day make it big, win the lottery, become famous, be successful, the normal American dream. But one thing we’ve always said is that no matter how famous or successful we get, we don’t want it to go to our heads. We want to stay humble and help people as much as we can, donating our time and money. So recently, I decided to look up exactly how much big celebrities donate and I was shocked at how little they do. Out of curiosity, and the fact that the whole family is one of the most talked about in the world, I looked up Kim Kardashian and how much she has donated. And of course she had donated to multiple charities and the number was somewhere up in the thousands, but I was still not impressed at all. I had read another article from 2009 about how she had an eBay auction after cleaning out her insane closet and claimed that she was donating what she made off of it all to charity. But the article wasn’t about how great her donation was, it was about how she might have stretched the truth a little and actually only donated 10 percent to charity and pocketed the rest (because she really needed the money *eye roll). I was actually so disgusted at how little that entire family had donated compared to what they spend and make, and decided I was not going to waste any more time laughing at their reality shows, I unfollowed all of them on Instagram, and any other celebrity who had little to give out. Now don’t get me wrong, I know everyone works hard for their money, and like everyone says, “they earned it”. This is all so very true. But after my recent change in mindset, I can no longer understand how rich people can enjoy their expensive cars and clothes and mansions and not feel the least amount of guilt/disgust in enjoying these great things while there are people, not just on the other side of the world but right down the street who are hungry every day. And just think about it, if everyone who is able, really did what they should, the world could be so much better off. If everyone donated a little more, did just a little more, we might actually change things. Can we really call this place a first world country when we still have third world problems? Yes, we have running water, and glorious shopping malls, and tons of Starbucks, but does all of that really matter when we have homeless people on every corner? On this note, I just ask that everyone rethink the real issues and your purpose in the world. Maybe you can be the change.

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